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Do you treat your children differently?

I am afraid that I am treating my daughter so very different than my son. He is my first born, he is very sweet, loving, and caring. My DD is all of those things as well, but on her terms only. She is very stubborn and tends to hold a grudge. While I don't want to treat them different, as a parent you all know that you kinda have to. My question/concern is I always feel like my DD is left out or looked over because she plays nicely by herself & in general is a bit of a loner. I was like that as a kid too so I'm not worried about that. I am worried that she sees me in a bad light because I don't spend the extra time with her that seems to be required for my son. He is a momma's boy through and through. I fight/clash-whatever you want to call it-with her WAY more than him and I'm starting to feel guilty.....anyone else go through this? How did you remedy it? How do I stop feeling like I'm ruining my child for a normal future?

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:16 PM on Mar. 1, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (6)
  • Yes I totally have the same problem. My DD(12) is a daddy's girl. My DS(8) is a mama's boy. She just doesn't seem to want to spend the time with me that my DS does. Sometimes I feel that I'm leaving her out & I feel bad. We fight more that my DS & I do. I just make sure to tell her I love her often. I always make an effort to talk to her & ask her to do stuff with me. Truth is we just don't have that much in common. But of course you treat your kids differently. They are different people, it doesn't mean you love one more than the other. My mom explained it to me like this. Your kids are real people, just like everyone else in the world and some people you just get along with better than others. Doesn't mean you don't love them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:25 PM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • Yes. My son and daughter are two different people. They have different interest and needs and personalities. Just because you treat them differently doesn't mean that you love one less or more than the other. It just means that you are treating them as individuals and not as paper cut outs of each other. 'Getting along' is a matter of personalities. Those are things that can be worked out in time. I am sure you give equal love to all of your kids. You just show it differently.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 12:26 PM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • Thank you. I know I shouldn't feel bad but my kids are 4 and soon to be 3 and I feel like I am scaring her for life. I didn't have a very close relationship with my mom growing up and really wanted to change that when I had a girl, now I don't know if I makes me so sad.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:27 PM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • I would bet that any mother of two or more being honest with herself would answer "yes" to this question. Your children are not the same people, and you are not the same person in the same situation as they reach each stage of their development. It's impossible to know how much birth order and circumstance plays into their personalities and how much of it is innate... but it's impossible to devote the kind of one-on-one time to your little one that you had when your first born was that age, and that's not your fault. Maybe things will eventually swing in the other direction and your first born will be independent enough to be "ignored" a little more while your little one gets some more attention. In any case, I am sure you are showing them both a lot of love. It's okay if it's in different ways, as long as they know they have your love and can depend on you. Cherish the special, unique bond you have with each child.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 12:28 PM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • I can honeslty say No I have a 3yr old and a 9 mth old and I have plenty on my hands to pay attention to one or the other more when I am finished cleaning I make breakfast, supper or etc we eat together play together I do notice that my husband favors our 2nd child more than the 1st and I get upset and encourage him to have that play time as well with the first child. My children are very opposite the 1st one is wild and constantly everywhere and the 2nd child is very calm and a good baby but she follows her big sis everywhere in her walker and play with each other with no problem....

    Answer by babycakeschris at 6:00 PM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • Yes. And, as others have said, I do treat them differently because they ARE different. What my son needs is not the same as what my daughter needs. I love them the same. I meet their needs equally. BUT how I meet those needs varies based on what those needs are. Make sense?

    Step back and look closely. Does your daughter seem to notice or care about what you perceive as a difference or is she content? Find ways to include her or engage with her in ways that mean something to her. Don't worry if it's the same as with your son. For example, my DS needs more nudging. My DD is more independent. It *is* being fair and equal to meet her needs on her terms. I don't do as much *for* her even though she's younger simply because she needs the room to be independent. He doesn't.

    Sometimes we get so caught up in some tally sheet to measure equal that we lose site of the fact that are kids are individuals with unique needs.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 11:31 AM on Mar. 2, 2010

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